From the Washington Post: "Asked Thursday whether he could envision a situation in which the United States would take military action in Syria without U.N. authorization, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said, 'No, I cannot envision that because, look, as secretary of defense, my greatest responsibility is to make sure when we deploy our men and women in uniform and put them at risk, we not only know what the mission is, but we have the kind of support we need to accomplish that mission.'"
Really? Even the Clinton administration ignored the U.N. when it intervened in Kosovo. And of course the Obama administration doesn't have U.N. authorization for the drone strikes in Yemen or the cyber attacks on Iran, the details of which have been revealed this week to New York Times for the sake of President Obama's reelection effort. No. The claim that we need U.N. authorization to act in Syria is just an excuse offered by an administration unwilling to defend inaction in Syria on the merits, but unwilling to act in an election year.
The fault, of course, is less Panetta's (though he should be ashamed of making this argument) than Obama's.
Obama vincendus est.